European success for U15s

West Ham United's U15s saw off competition from top clubs across Europe to claim the Nordhalne Cup title last weekend.

The young Hammers remained undefeated during the two-day tournament in the northern Danish city of Aalborg to take top honours and complete a rewarding trip.

Drawn against Danish outfits B1903, Hobro IK and FC Federicia and Dutch side De Graafschap in the opening round, the Hammers won all four games to secure their place in the four-team final round.

Only B1903 gave the Hammers a fright in that first stage, with the Londoners triumphing 2-1 in that game. By contrast, Hobro (3-0), Federicia (4-0) and De Graafschap (5-1) were all seen off comfortably.

West Ham were well set up for the final stage, and another pair of Danish sides, Aab Aalborg and Marienlyst were defeated 2-0 and 6-0 respectively to land the trophy.

Youth Development Phase Lead Coach Trevor Bumstead was understandably delighted.

He said: "It was a fantastic end to the season for us. We took a mixture of U14 and U15 players so the challenge was for the team to gel in a short space of time and credit to the players that they were able to do that so smoothly.

"We set ourselves the goal of playing as many matches as we could against the best teams possible at the tournament whilst continuing to play the West Ham way and we more than achieved this aim.

"We came up against a lot of challenges against teams who are very rigid defensively but it is really pleasing we stuck to our guns and played the way we wanted to play, scoring a number of great goals during the tournament - the pick being an overhead kick from the penalty spot. The tournament acted as fantastic tool for each player's development and we hope each of these players learn from this experience and progress up the levels into the first team."